The visiting Le Mars Bulldogs gave credence to their 12-4 record this season after taking a 50-31 Lakes Conference basketball verdict from the Cherokee Braves here on Jan. 15th.
Nate Miller scored 18 points, and Tyler Westphal 11 to lead the Bulldogs past the cold-shooting Cherokee boys, who managed a frigid 27 percent shooting from the field for the game, including 1-9 on three-balls.
Le Mars sank 17-39 shots for 44 percent and was 4-10 from the three-point arc. The Braves netted 11-41 field goals for 27 pecent and was 8-15 from the foul line, compared to the Bulldogs' 12-20 effort.
Tyler Jones, Matt Koch, and Kyle Schuck led Cherokee's scoring with seven points apiece in the defensive struggle. Schuck also led Cherokee on the boards with nine rebounds, while Cody Ege and Brock Dagel grabbed six apiece. Dagel, a 6-6 freshman who is second in the state in blocked shots, had four blocks in the game, and Schuck, a 6-2 sophomore and the Braves leading rebounder, had three blocks.
"We missed 14 bunnies in the first half," said Cherokee coach Trent Coombs while lamenting his team's current cold-shooting trend. "We can hold our own defensively, but we can't get the shots to fall. Le Mars is very athletic, but we got good looks and couldn't knock the shots down. I think we're a little timid."
Cherokee trailed 9-4 after the first quarter as both teams displayed stingy defense, and Le Mars took a 28-15 lead in at halftime thanks to a late three-ball and inside lay-up at the buzzer. The Bulldogs led 37-22 after three periods, and outscored Cherokee 13-9 in the final frame to close it out.
"We pulled to within 10 with four minutes to go but they hit some big shots and we didn't," noted Coombs. "We had some costly turnovers inside that hurt us all night."